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Cause And Effect Of Being A Student Athlete

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The Effect on a Student Athlete's Education in College Athletics

The reason that a person goes to college is to get a better education and prepare them for what may lie ahead in the future. But it is becoming more and more evident that education is not the priority of most student athletes or some coaches. It is because of the win-at-all-costs motto that so many athletes and coaches believe in nowadays. Some student-athletes do not get a proper education because of the emphasis put on competing in sports and winning in college athletics. This can hinder a student athlete's performance in the classroom.

According to the article "Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values," student athletes have a significantly lower graduation rate than regular students do. The reasons that this article gave were common sense reasons. They have less time to do homework or study because of their heavy practice schedules. Most college practices last anywhere from two to four hours and can sometimes be held a two to three times a day. A coach has the biggest influence on his or her players at a particular college or university. The coach is the one person that can shape or mold the team to what they want it to become. Some coaches put a great emphasis on their player's education while others focus less on education. For example, the Michigan State Men's basketball team all graduated while the Michigan State football team only graduated 41 percent of their players (Reforming Big-Time College Sports). This shows how a coach can make the difference in his team's emphasis on education. Athletes are being brought in and led to believe that sports are much more important than their education. Most of the blame can be pointed toward the coaches and the recruiting system. This becomes evident when looking at the graduation rates of student athletes. Overall, the Division I-A graduation rate was 42 percent for all basketball and 51 percent for football players. It is most common that the teams that win the most often have the least graduates. (Examining Academic and Athletic Motivation)

Another reason that some athletes are not getting a good education is because of the courses that they take. Most athletes are encouraged, whether by the coach or other advisors, to take easy courses, insuring that their eligibility remains. I know from experience that this is very true. I was being recruited for baseball at another school that I had planned on attending. When I enrolled there the coach sent me a letter of classes that I should take to have an easier schedule. A couple of the classes were driver's education and physical fitness. A lot of athletes will bring down the school GPA because of the low grades they get.

Some believe that college sports are harmful to higher education because they exploit the student athletes. The athletes are led to believe that they are above the system and are treated this way also. Special treatment towards student athletes has been a constant problem in the NCAA. It could be through the offering of gifts and money to recruits, or the simple grade improvement (Academic Integrity). This can have a negative effect later in life because the individual will just expect things to be given to them or done for them and they won't be able to do things on their own. Grades are a constant debate with college sports. A team needs all of their players to stay eligible



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